Are you ready to weed?

Are you ready to weed?  Ask me and I’ll tell you exactly how I feel about weeding.  Am I ready to weed?  In a word, No.  Weeding ranks low with most gardeners.  Speaking for everyone, we tend to like to prune, plant, even water; but weed?  Nah.  Weeding ranks low, as low as the weeds go.

Nutsedge weed

Nutsedge weed

Some weeds are thought of with more disdain than others.  My personal weed to loath is nutsedge.  The devil himself holds it back from being pulled successfully.  And it likes to procreate.  First there is one, then another and another and another.  Nothing kills it, organic or otherwise.  It matches the color of grass, kind of, so it would be OK in the grass except, it grows at twice the rate.

As I read Roy Dick’s book Rhapsody in Green The garden wit and wisdom of Beverley Nichols, I learn the source of the original quote “A weed is a flower in the wrong place.”  It was written by the then director of Kew Gardens, Sir Edward Salisbury.  In the case of nutsedge, I’ve considered, but can’t conceive, any place it would be acceptable in Helen’s Haven.  Yet, there she grows.

In the spirit of the quote, I’m assuming Sir Salisbury must have been referring to flowers scattered about by wind and wildlife.  True for cowslip, but not nutsedge.

The best defense for weeds is prevention.  The obvious is mulching to keep the light from germinating the weed seed.  Weed seed can lie dormant until light strikes.  As such, turning a new garden bed raises weed seeds to the surface resulting in germination.  It is helpful to be patient and prepared when building of a new bed.  After the ground is turned, wait for the seeds to germinate.  Then hoe them down, plant, and top dress with mulch.

As a child, I don’t remember there being so many different weeds around.  We had Bermuda growing in our Centipede.  If we had a Bermuda lawn, the Centipede would have been the weed.  We also had to contend with wild onions.  Now I deal with spurges, henbit, chickweed, and anything else that isn’t suppose to be there including bee balm in Helen Haven’s Woodland Gardens.  The Bee Balm is supposed to stay in the Mixed Border with an occasional visit to the Crinum Bed.

Weed we must.  A little weeding with each visit to the garden keeps this garden task manageable.

Helen Yoest
Gardening With Confidence



  1. Jessica said

    Am I ready to weed? No! Do I need to weed? Yes. That’s actually on the chore list for tomorrow when I get home from work. That and a wee bit of planting!

  2. Enjoy the planting, Jessica. It will make up for the weeding.

  3. […] Hopefully you mulched nicely and do no have a huge problem with weeds, but weeding is a reality of gardening: they know a good thing with the see it. My approach is to use a good hoe and just come along and chop their heads off down to their feet. I don’t even have to bend over. But from time to time, when looking at my garden beds, I’ll see this big green thing. Yep, it’s a large crab grass. I use to wonder how it got there, but now I don’t even wonder, I just reach in and pull it out.  My least favorite weed is nutsedge Are-you-ready-to-weed […]

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